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Maple Leafs 4, Lightning 2

The SportsXchange

TORONTO -- The Toronto Maple Leafs snapped a season-worst five-game losing streak Wednesday night with a 4-2 win over the Tampa Bay Lightning at Air Canada Centre.

Already leading 1-0 after 20 minutes, Toronto (16-12-2) scored three times and chased Lightning starter Mathieu Caron in the second period.

The middle period started with a bang as Frazer McLaren didn't like how close B.J. Crombeen got to James Reimer following a whistle and the two dropped the gloves 29 seconds in.

Twenty-three seconds later, Leafs captain Dion Phaneuf picked up his fifth of the season one-timing a Carl Gunnarsson feed past a screened Caron to make it 2-0.

Just before the seven minute-mark of the second period, Tyler Bozak put a weak Phil Kessel shot past a sprawling Caron sending Caron to the bench. Caron allowed three goals on 13 shots

Aders Lindback didn't fare much better. Just over a minute after taking over from Caron, Nikolai Kulemin made it 4-0 with a wrist shot glove-side.

Forty-five seconds in to the third, Joffery Lupul, who opened the scoring in the first, caught Lightning defenseman Victor Hedman with a blind side hit while leading with his elbow.

Lupul was assessed a two-minute minor for an illegal check to the head. Hedman went to the dressing room briefly but did return.

Lupul finished with a goal and an assist and now has three goals and an assist in two games since returning from a broken arm which forced him to miss 25 games.

Nazem Kadri had three assists in the win.

Radko Gudas got the Lightning (13-16-1) on the board eight minutes into the third beating a screened Reimer with a point shot.

Following the goal, Lindback left the game with an undisclosed injury and Caron returned to the Lightning net.

Steven Stamkos, who had 23 points in his last 17 games, was held pointless.

Martin St. Louis set up rookie Cory Conacher for Tampa's second goal. St. Louis now has 15 points during an 11-game stretch.

NOTES: The Maple Leafs placed defenseman Mike Komisarek on wiavers Wednesday morning. Komisarek has been a healthy scratch since playing Feb. 2. Leafs GM Dave Nonis expects Komisarek to clear. "Given that we've been in a position to trade him for a while now, it wouldn't surprise me if he clears." ... Coming into Wednesday's game, Toronto had surrendered a combined 20 goals during their current 0-3-2 skid after starting the season 15-9-0 and holding opponents to an average of just 2.5 goals per game. ... Joffery Lupul, who missed 25 games due to a broken arm, made his second straight start for Toronto. ... The Maple Leafs won all four meetings between the two teams last season. ... At 23 years, 41 days, Steven Stamkos became the fourth youngest player to reach 200 goals. ... Maple Leafs defenseman Jake Gardiner was officially recalled from the Toronto Marlies of the AHL Wednesday morning. Gardiner had 30 points as a rookie last year.
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